What Lemoore might look like after the "impending monster" of snow pack roars into town from the Sierra Nevada and possibly disrupting the Surf Ranch Pro on May 27, 28. | Photo: Paramount Pictures/Crawl

Fears for Surf Ranch Pro as long-dormant lake suddenly appears after apocalyptic river storms wreak havoc in Lemoore and as town braces for melting of “historic” snow pack! “This is a slowly unfolding natural disaster”

“There is no way to handle this!”

Lemoore, California, midway between those great centres of American homelessness, Los Angeles and San Francisco, is bracing for the melting of “historic” snow pack from the nearby Sierra Nevada following epic rains that had already beat up the town and drowned farms. 

“This impending monster — a 50-foot-plus deep snowpack that we haven’t seen in 75 years —  is sitting up there,” Matt Hurley, a former water manager for several water districts in the Tulare Basin, told NBC, “and we just don’t know how fast it’s going to turn into water and come out of the mountains.”

There’s already been so much rain that Tulare Lake, once the second-largest freshwater lake in the US but drained to nothing by canals and irrigation a century ago, has suddenly reappeared. 

“This is a slowly unfolding natural disaster,” said Jeffrey Mount, a senior fellow at the Water Policy Center of the Public Policy Institute of California. “There’s no way to handle it with the existing infrastructure.”

Wild times and blame climate change, Trump, I suppose, and prayers to the poor workers of Lemoore, living from one lousy pay cheque to the next, but prayers, also, for surf fans who’ve paid $9790.86 for the Surf Ranch Pro Experience Package, only to be trapped in a stinking cattle town for a weekend and staring out the locked window of their underwhelming Tachi Palace room as the joint disappears under floodwater.

There is the balm of getting to ride five waves on the Sunday night and VIP access “to an exclusive celebration with finalists at the conclusion of the event”. 

The five-thousand dollar glamping packages might be an unwise choice, however.

Or, watch the apocalypse on site while floating in an Airstream. These packages cost a little under 8k.

Kelly Slater and VIPs (pictured) enjoying Surf Ranch without interference from pesky little germs. Photo: WSL
Kelly Slater and VIPs (pictured) enjoying Surf Ranch without interference from pesky little germs. Photo: WSL

Child Protective Services on high alert as World Surf League telegraphs serious “Grom abuse” ahead of Surf Ranch Pro!

Like Oliver Twist.

Surf fans’ excitement surrounding the just-released tickets for the upcoming Surf Ranch Pro has not yet begun to abate, though a new worry is percolating just beneath the surface. As you know, the World Surf League Championship Tour heads to Lemoore, California after the Australian leg. Surfers who have survived the dreaded “mid-season cut” will be rewarded with a no expense paid trip to inland central California where they will be met with lousy weather and cow stink.

Surf fans, too, can join them and very exciting but also troubling for the finer print clearly demonstrates that the World Surf League is intent on participating in the now-frowned upon activity of “grom abuse.”

Those “in the know” are certainly aware of the practice wherein surfing children are cuffed, dropped in upon, vigorously splashed in the lineup. The World Surf League, though, appears to be planning on moving that brand of injustice to land.

The Surf Ranch Pro ticket packages, you see, have both general admission and VIP varietals. The general admission comes in two sizes: Adult (18+) for $24.99 and Grom (-17) for $12.50. All fine and well…. except.

Groms are not allowed to be very important at a discounted price.

Per the League:

As a VIP, you’ll have access to elevated food options as well as the VIP-only bar. Stay comfortable with air-conditioned restrooms and enjoy the convenience of a VIP parking pass. Additionally, VIP ticket holders will receive a free custom hat at the WSL Official Store to remember your experience.

– VIP access to the event on Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28.
– VIP space and lounge
– Elevated food options for purchase
– Access to VIP-only bar
– VIP-only air conditioned restrooms
– VIP parking pass
– Merchandise benefit: free custom hat at the WSL Official Store
– Note there is no Grom option for VIP. Children under 2 may accompany parents into the VIP area without a pass. Groms older than two must hold a VIP ticket.

Again, “Note there is no Grom option for VIP.”

No elevated food options. No air conditioned restrooms. No happy memories of the experience from a free custom hat unless that Grom shells out the full $499.00 plus $21.86 fee.

What sort of Grom is sitting on that kinda loot?

Extremely harsh.

Like Oliver Twist.

In other news, how do you feel about the World Surf League using “cool” talk like “Grom” in official correspondence?

Hang loose.

From the 1986 Op Pro riot through yesterday, Huntington Beach has a proud history of unrest. Photo: The Encyclopedia of Surfing
From the 1986 Op Pro riot through yesterday, Huntington Beach has a proud history of unrest. Photo: The Encyclopedia of Surfing

Ex-President Donald Trump’s prediction of “death and destruction” in wake of indictment manifests in Surf City, USA!

"Huntington Beach gonna Huntington Beach."

The old adage “Huntington Beach gonna Huntington Beach” proved, once again, true on the very first day of April as a pro-Trump rally became bloodied by anti-Trump activists swinging skateboards. According the the Los Angeles Times, a group of 40 fans of the ex-United States President gathered together to wave flags reading “Make America Great Again” and sing songs featuring the chorus “God bless Trump” as a sign of rage over the aforementioned’s recent indictment.

The sun shone overhead and the nearby waves, though small, provided the perfect canvas for Huntington Hopping.

Then, out of nowhere, all hell broke absolutely loose.

Two men described by those at the scene as “Radical Left Democrats” came rushing into the happy camp, skateboards waving wildly over head, connecting with a few red capped skulls.

A man driving a BMW also threw a bottle of water at the group.

This was not the first time violence has broken out between Trump likers and dislikers in Surf City, USA.

Six years ago, tempers flared at a march leaving many with hurt feelings.

Back to yesterday’s troubles, though, Michelle Henney who was there and also claimed to be at our nation’s Capitol Building on January 6th, told the Times that Trump was innocent and his impending arrest a “Witch Hunt.”

“If he had a booger in his nose, they’d arrest him for indecent exposure,” she said.


Surf fans, while saddened by the dustup, are more worried about the fate of the U.S. Open of Surfing. Traditionally hosted in Huntington Beach, the World Surf League Challenger Series event has recently lost its title sponsor. With its July 29 through August 6 window still months away, there is hope that a major player will come in and bolster professional surf hopefuls.

Possibly Bailey Ladders.


Hayden Cox, appearing in Mr Porter as a man of measure and taste, main photo, haydenshapes clothing inset left and resin table for SP01, right.

“World’s most beautiful surfboard shaper” Hayden Cox continues pivot into high-end luxury goods following his clothing brand for Mr Porter with new ultra-exclusive furniture range, including $11,900 table!

"A blend of delicate craftsmanship and lineal minimalism…the internal catalyst textures of resin allow light to shift and refract – like sun through seawater."

The Australian surfboard shaper Hayden Cox is an easy target. Handsome kid and gorgeous wife annex a hunk of the surfboard market with a a high-fashion approach to marketing and a model that appeals to everyone, even beginners.

Although figures are a little blurry on such things, it’s likely his surfboard model, the Hypto-Krypto, a spruced-up seventies style design that was more fun that the vigorous operation of your sex glands, is the biggest-selling surfboard model in the world.

Perhaps you’ll remember my rapture when I first visited his headquarters on Sydney’s northern beaches. What a thrill it was to see a joint free from the ravages of hipster cliché. There was no wood, no pendant lighting, nothing vintage. No motorcycles or coffee machines. Nothing that screamed the buzzword “authentic!”

Instead, wall-to-wall polished concrete with an asymmetrical counter of fabricated concrete shadowed by a large screen built into the wall showing black-and-white surf films of empty waves and occasionally Craig Anderson. Surfboards of matte and polished black, and white, hung from bespoke clothing racks.

Now, and following a collaboration with online men’s retailer Mr Porter for his eponymous surfboard brand’s clothing collection, which included four-hundred dollar surf trunks and six-hundred dollar shell jackets, the sunny faced forty one year old  has dived into furniture manufacturing with four pieces “utilising his mastery of resin” for high-end Australian furniture brand SP01.

“What has driven what some people call luxury is materiality,” Cox told the Brisbane Times. “With surfboards and designing with Future Flex we set a new price point in the industry. That sent the industry down another path and influenced other brands to work with different materials. It’s about creating a new perception.”

Per SP01’s pitch,

“A blend of delicate craftsmanship and lineal minimalism, it’s the distinct materiality of resin that plays the leading role in shape, opacity and colour selection in the Refract collection’s design. With a hand feel of stone and a visual likeness to glass, the internal catalyst textures of resin allow light to shift and refract – like sun through seawater. The stacked lineal shapes that form the table bases take design cues from a wave set. The slabs each glowing at the tip and deepening in colour as each prism expands.”

If you want a piece, there’s a coffee table, console table, side table or a decorative surfboard, which you can examine here. The table is a little under twelve gees Australian and the surfboard is $3950.

On brink of World Surf League cancellation, Kelly Slater spotlights future with brand-new training academy!

Ultra Hard Surf Academy.

After Wave-Ki proved to be just as disappointing for me as 2022 was for Conner Coffin, I had nearly given up on my search for the magic bullet that would make me less mediocre without actually requiring me to surf more often.

And then, about three months back, I received a text message from an industry insider that absolutely blew my mind. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a drill. For the last five years, Kelly Slater has been working in secret on a comprehensive interactive online surf instruction program!

Technically I am breaching the NDA I signed by even disclosing this. Derek and Chas also had some serious questions about the exposure that BeachGrit might face for publicly disclosing something that Kelly does not intend to roll out until he officially retires, which given his performances in the first three events this season, might be imminent if he cannot skate past the midyear cut. Nevertheless, this is sufficiently newsworthy that it has been deemed worth the risk.

The iSarf Program: $later $urf $chool
The Pro Surfer: Kelly Slater
Website: slatersurfschool.com

Kelly has been hinting for quite some time that something like the $later $urf $chool (hereinafter “$$$”) has been in the works, stating in interviews that he started writing down the things that he had learned about surfing as early as his first year on tour all the way back in the 20th century (yes, that’s what the kids are calling it these days). This is more than just a book though—it’s a book, an online membership portal with access to hundreds of instructional videos breaking down every Ke11y technique you’ve ever seen him perform on a wave, and even a Q&A portal in which Kelly personally responds to your questions.

You’ll learn about the five different types of waves and how Kelly’s approach to surfing maneuvers changes according to the wave type. I also had no idea that there were six different types of barrels and that your barrel riding stance, both front side and backside, needs to change according to each.

If that weren’t enough to get you to open your wallet and give all your hard-earned cash to Kelly, $$$ gives you an interactive mechanism to apply all this knowledge with a game changing immersive experience using a VR headset and hand controllers compatible with Oculus Quest 2, HTC Vive, and Valve Index VR headsets (sorry all you PlayStation VR owners, but Kelly thinks you are a bunch of worthless peasants and refuses to support Sony’s hardware).

The surf training potential here is virtually (pun intended) unparalleled in comparison with any other offering. The $$$ proprietary GOAT Vision VR software reliably models the waves at world renowned surf breaks Kelly has famously surfed such as Pipeline, Cloudbreak, G-Land, Snapper, Lowers, and the South Side of Seal Beach Pier (look, I didn’t blow that spot up—everyone else already did, and the surf almost always sucks there) so that you can have the experience of virtually surfing these breaks while also receiving real-time feedback to correct your wonky and inefficient surfing technique.

There is also a proprietary surfboard-shaped VR controller in the works tentatively called the “GOAT Stick” that will further enhance this VR experience. Though still in development, the GOAT Stick can reliably determine your foot placement, heel/toe and front foot/back foot pressure, and rail grab location. This is expected to cost upwards of $4,000, but you know you are going to buy one when they come market. I certainly will.

And, even without the benefit of the GOAT Stick (which I am absolutely buying), I can tell you that the combination of Kelly’s omniscient surf knowledge coupled with being able to virtually surf waves like Pipe I’d otherwise have no business paddling out at certainly works as advertised.

Without having to skate around soccer cones like a T-Rex as required by OMBE or perform surf katas as required by Wave Ki, my surfing started to improve almost right away. I immediately recognized why I was cutting my turns short and what I needed to do with my body positioning and hand/arm placement to rip some big arcing turns, just like Kelly! Whereas I hadn’t blown the tail at the apex of any of my turns since I was a teenager, I am now blowing it like an industrial-grade fan.

$$$’s offering is not just limited to surfing technique either. If you are an aspiring professional surfer or are one of those weirdo parents homeschooling your kid and harboring delusional expectations that your little grom will become the next Kelly Slater, $$$ also goes into detail about Kelly’s strategies for competitive surfing.

You’ll learn about time management in heats, cheeky priority exploitation, and influencing the judges both in and out of the water to ensure that you get consistently overscored and your opponents are underscored. Kelly’s famed “mind games” are also heavily featured, including baiting your opponent into give up priority via offering a high five and asking your opponent sitting in priority whether he is going left at a righthand pointbreak as he is paddling for a set wave.

Some of these techniques can also be used to great effect even outside of competition to ensure that you get more waves and that the other surfers in the lineup are positively tickled by your humor. For instance, the gentlemen sitting at the top of the point at Steamer Lane were genuinely appreciative of my use of the aforementioned “going left” question the last time I spent a weekend up in Santa Cruz. I made a lot of friends that day.

The pricing for the $$$ program is TBD, but there’ve been rumblings of a one-time initiation fee of $10,000 USD and then $250 per month thereafter. All totally worth it.

For years, I had assumed that my surfing ability had plateaued and that the commitments and rigors of staying gainfully employed would not permit me to spend the kind of time in the ocean that would be required to actually reach that elusive next level. But I am here to tell you that the magic bullet exists.

It might be a lifetime before we truly grasp the impact that Kelly has had on surfing. In the 90s, he convinced the world that something like a 6’3”x17”x2.25” board that only Kelly was capable of riding was the best possible equipment you could buy. In the 00s, he convinced the world that a stubby 5’11” quad was the equipment to be using at Pipe. In the 2010s, he convinced the world that Adriano de Souza didn’t exist by unveiling his wave pool mere days after de Souza was crowned world champion and thereby making everyone forget about poor Adriano. All of these things, obviously, were never true, but we believed them anyway.

And as you likely have surmised unless you are just hopelessly dense, none of the foregoing is true either. But since I’ve attached Kelly’s name to it, you’re going to believe it anyway on some level. And that’s because you want to believe it, even though you understand full well that this is a complete and utter fabrication. Hell, even I want to believe that $$$ is actually a thing.

Because ultimately, everyone wants to believe in the snake oil, even when they know it isn’t real.

It is for this reason that peddling the snake oil will always be a lucrative business opportunity provided that you can manage to stay away from outright embezzlement and avoid administrative scrutiny over the false representations that you make to your investors.

I will therefore conclude with one final proposition: Ultra Hard Surf Academy?